Hong Kong once again moves the world with a million out for rally in heavy rain

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Mass rally at Victoria Park.

Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers have flocked to Victoria Park for a fresh rally after two months of increasingly violent clashes that have drawn widespread attention from the world.

Huge crowds filled the park on Sunday afternoon and spilled on to nearby streets, forcing police to block traffic in the area.

The regular weekend activity has met with heavy rain falling on colorful umbrellas that filled a packed park and later a major road to Central Hong Kong.

Torrential rain came down an hour into the rally, turning the park into a sea of colourful umbrellas.

Police turned down the application for Sunday’s march – from Victoria Park to the central business district – submitted by the Civil Human Rights Front group. However, the police gave permission for a rally at the park instead.

Many began walking on the streets despite the police ban on a march as the park got overcrowded.

Organizers expect 1.45 million people to walk down the streets on Sunday. Various sources have put the figure at 1.7 million. As the overcrowded park will never be able to hold such a mass, protesters risk being charged with unlawful assembly outside the lined area.

Law enforcement officers were keeping a low profile on Sunday, with no riot police seen from the procession’s main routes.

Organisers insist that the Hong Kong government must stop using police force to suppress them and respond to their five political demands. The Hong Kong government has expressed its regret as the rally is targeting police brutality as the main theme.

Protesters flouted a police order not to march from the park, pouring across the heart of Hong Kong island despite torrential rain.

A group has issued a statement of appeal to the international community for support as follows:

The clock is ticking. Hong Kong is now in a state of emergency. The people of Hong Kong is experiencing a level of violence far beyond what a civilized society should tolerate.

Since June, the police have been out of control. Once emotionally out of control, the police, in the name of maintaining law and order, lashed out at demonstrators, almost killing them.

Front officers readily violate safety protocols and international human rights standards for policing. The police have also turned a blind eye on triad members terrorizing civilians, encouraging triads to continue their streak of terror attacks.

By secretively favoring these triads, the police is allowing lawlessness to prevail in the city. Meanwhile, the government readily vilifies the movement, sending undercover officers as agent provocateurs, and spreading hatred and fake news via pro-Beijing media. All this is to legitimize their violent treatment of civilians.

The police have now become a machine for spreading white terror by arbitrary arrests, beating up detainees, laying out charges against protesters and passers-by, instilling fear in the community and amongst political dissidents.

As long as those in power refuse to tackle the issues of themselves, but chose to suppress those speaking out, we cannot remain silent.

We demand an independent inquiry to tackle police brutality. More urgently, we demand the reformation of the Hong Kong police force.

Please contact your local representatives, ask your government and international organizations to pressure the Hong Kong government. Help us stop this injustice from spreading.

We are a group of Hong Kongers who love the city. Once more, we repeat. Political issues must be solved through political means. All five demands must be met.

By Winnie Troppie

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